Making Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage)

I love making the recipes I grew up eating plant-based. Here I am going to make plant-based Golabki!

Growing up in Chicago in a Polish neighborhood, my Busia (grandmother) and mother made Golabki often.
Traditionally Golabki is made with pork, or ground hamburger and rice. I wanted to veganize it and make it low-fat plant based.

I began doing some research about the history of Golabki. Here is a little bit of what I learned.


The word ‘golabek’ has a double meaning in Polish. It is a dish and it also means ‘dove’. The word golabek came to Poland in the 19th century from Ukraine where this dish was served at aristocratic feasts and parties. The Ukrainian word was ‘holubci’. Houlbci consisted of a dove stuffed with other things and wrapped in cabbage leaves. The idea of holubci came to Poland and was translated in Polish and adopted by all people. The dove was replaced with chopped meat and rice. The poorer cooks often used rice and potatoes as the stuffing for the dish.


Golabki are not specifically Polish! There are similar dishes in Sweden, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Israel, and Turkey. The difference in each country is the type of meat and cabbage used to make the dish.


Well now you know the history of Golabki! The history of dishes has always fascinated me! Each culture takes many of the same ingredients and puts them together in different ways to make a delicious meal for their families.


I like the feeling of having my Busia and Mom in the kitchen with me as I make yet another version of the Polish dish Golabki!

The best way to begin is to cook your stuffing ingredients before hand. I used Buckwheat, brown rice and white mushrooms.
It is best to cook the buckwheat and rice separately. I cooked mine in my Instant Pot the day before. Here are the brands I use.

The first thing you want to do is boil your cabbage so the leaves will be easy to separate. Next, I sautéd the onions, garlic for 4 minutes until translucent, then added the chopped mushrooms, tamari, salt, and pepper.


One last thing I want to mention, this recipe is meant to personalize! The stuffing can be any grains you like such as, millet, oat grouts, bulgur, farro, freekeh, quinoa, etc, Instead of brown rice you could also use basmati, black or wild. Sometimes I like to add vegetables, like carrots, celery or riced cauliflower. The combinations are endless.

Let me know what filling combinations you would like to stuff in your Golabki!

Here is a video of me putting the golabki together.

I like to serve Golabki with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, edamame, rye bread and a dollop of sour cream


Cabbage and Stuffing

1 whole head cabbage (use white or savoy cabbage)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup cooked buckwheat (cooked according to package directions)
1 cup cooked brown rice or Basmati rice (cooked according to package directions)
3 cups mushrooms roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic diced
1 Tablespoon Tamari or liquid Aminos
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

Tomato Sauce: Here is my recipe or you can use your own favorite tomato soup recipe.

2-14.4 oz cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup cashews soaked in water for at least 2 hours
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Remove the core from the cabbage. Put the whole head into a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 2 – 10 minutes until cabbage is softened enough to pull off individual leaves and flexible enough to make the Golabki. You will need about 10 leaves. Cooking time will depend on how large your cabbage is.

3. Drain cabbage and cool down by placing in a ice water. Separate the leaves you will use. You should use about 10 rolls.

4. Sauté the onions and garlic in a large saucepan until onions are translucent. Add 1 tablespoon of water as needed to prevent sticking.

5. When onions are done, add mushrooms, cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are soft.

6. Add the cooked buckwheat and cooked rice to the saucepan and mix well. Mix in 1 tablespoon Tamari or aminos

7. Remove mixture from heat.

8. Gather the 10 leaves for making the Golabki to assemble the dumplings.

9. Cut the remaining cabbage and place it in the bottom of a casserole dish

10. Place about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the filling on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the filling. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Roll away from you to create a neat little roll.

11. Make tomato sauce, put all ingredients tomato bits, cashew, salt and pepper in high-speed blender and process until smooth.

12. Put the cabbage rolls on top of the chopped cabbage in the casserole dish. You want them to be packed tightly into the dish.

13. Pour in 1 cup vegetable broth over cabbage rolls. Ladle 3/4 of the tomato sauce on top and cover

14. Bake @ 350 for 45 minutes

Serve hot, top with additional tomato sauce and sour cream if desired. (See recipe below)

Vegan Sour Cream


1 12.3 oz pkg Mori-Nu firm tofu
2 – 4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth.



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Making Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage)


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